Jewish Ethnic Identity and Relations in Hellenistic Egypt

With Walls of Iron?

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In Jewish Ethnic Identity and Relations in Hellenistic Egypt, Stewart Moore investigates the foundations of common assumptions about ethnicity. To maintain one’s identity in a strange land, was it always necessary to band tightly together with one’s coethnics? Sociologists and anthropologists who study ethnicity have given us a much wider view of the possible strategies of ethnic maintenance and interaction.

The most important facet of Jewish ethnicity in Egypt which emerges from this study is the interaction over the Jewish-Egyptian boundary. Previous scholarship has assumed that this border was a Siegfried Line marked by mutual contempt. Yet Jews, Egyptians and also Greeks interacted in complicated ways in Ptolemaic Egypt, with positive relationships being at least as numerous as negative ones.
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Biographical Note

Stewart Moore, Ph.D. (2014), Yale University, was most recently a professor of religious studies at Fairfield University. His publications center on Second Temple Judaism, focusing on the relationship between Jewish religious and ethnic identity.

Table of contents

Introduction
1. Thicker than Water? A Social-Scientific Approach to Ancient Judean Ethnicity
2. The History of Dustbins: Reconstructing Ethnicity from the Papyri
3. Reflections on the Nile: Hellenistic Ethnographers and the Greco-Egyptian Boundary
4. From the Mouths of Beasts: Ethnic Identity in Apocalyptic Literature from Egypt
5. For the Sake of Mice and Weasels: Ethnic Boundaries and the “Cultural Stuff” in the Letter of Aristeas
Conclusion
Bibliography

Readership

All interested in ethnic identity as it is formed in relations with members of other ethnicities, and especially those focusing on identity in Second Temple Judaism and classical antiquity.